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Low-cost funerals

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If you want to keep funeral costs down, at last there is an option that won’t break the bank.

The Salvation Army is offering funerals for as low as $2180.

The not-for-profit Salvos aren’t your traditional funeral home. Many homes are run for a profit and owned by a publicly listed company.

For example, InvoCare owns funeral homes such as White Lady Funerals and Simplicity Funerals as well as dozens of local funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoria. But the funeral costs can be high and often people don’t want an expensive funeral.

“We provide real value for quality service,” say the Salvos. “To reduce our costs, we work with trusted partners who provide some of our products and services, as needed. Our most affordable option is $2180 for a cremation without a ceremony. Our average funeral is less than $6000.”

Transfer and care management$675.00
Statutory requirements$436.05
Coffin$432.15
Cremation fee$607.50
Ceremony service requirements (e.g. venue hire, flowers and order of service)$1,802.25
Ceremony planning and management (e.g. planner fee, celebrant fee, additional staff)$1,919.15
Total (inc GST)$5,872.10
Source: salvosfunerals.com.au

 

Funeral costs include transferring the body to the cemetery or crematorium. Also there are some statutory costs involved with obtaining a death certificate.

But often there is a mark-up on the price of coffins, graphic design, catering and special memorials such as releasing balloons and even doves.

But the Salvation Army keeps these to a minimum. For example, it charges $432 for an affordable, sustainable coffin. It has other coffins that can be drawn on and painted or decorated.

One of the important features of a funeral from the Salvation Army is how it caters for all cultural, religious or family requirements.

“We can also provide you with personnel who speak Mandarin, Cantonese, Korean, Spanish and French,” it says.

The Salvation Army is well known for providing compassion and care to those in grief.

“We are a community of people passionate about caring for others through these challenging times and providing funeral services that reflect that strength and comfort,” it says.

Many people like the idea of supporting the work of the Salvos rather than a private individual or shareholders, the organisation says.

“By choosing to be cared for by us, you will be supporting the valuable broader work of the Salvos in the community.”

The Salvation Army says burial costs don’t need to be exorbitant.

“While cemeteries closer to Sydney CBD can start at $15,000, some regional cemeteries not too far from Sydney start at less than $3000.”

Written by Susan Hely

Susan Hely

Susan has been a finance journalist for 30 years, beginning at the Australian Financial Review before moving to the Sydney Morning Herald. She edited ASFA's Superfunds magazine and wrote the best-selling Women and Money.

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